This North to Central Vietnam Off-road Motorcycle Tour for 21 days is designed for those riders who want to discover the natural beauty of grand mountains, hospitable ethnic minorities, typical cultures, traditions, coastal roads, rivers, waterfall, ancient towns, forests, terraces, temples, caves, beaches,… including Mau Son, Ban Gioc, Ha Giang, Sa Pa, Mu Cang Chai, Mai Chau, Phu Yen – Son La, Phong Nha, Hue, Hoi An, Cu Lao Cham island on the mainly off-road tracks and on Ho Chi Minh trail. You should not miss the chance!
If you have any more questions, please feel free to contact us at any time!
Destination: Hanoi – Mau Son – Quang Uyen – Ban Gioc Waterfall – Cao Bang – Bao Lac – Meo Vac – Dong Van – Lung Cu – Ha Giang – Hoang Su Phi – Xin Man – Bac Ha – Sapa – Mu Cang Chai – Phu Yen – Muong La – Son La – Moc Chau – Mai Chau – Pu Luong – Tan Ky – Phong Nha – Khe Sanh – Hue – Hoi An
|TOUR START/FINISH||Hanoi/Da Nang|
|DEPARTURE TIME||The tours start at 8.30 am in the morning|
|RETURN TIME||The tour will finish at about 4 or 5 pm |
|GEAR||We recommend you to bring your own gear to be the most comfortable. BUT we also offer you helmets, raincoats, gloves, knee and elbow pads.|
Day 1: HA NOI – MAU SON (180km)
In the morning we saddle up our motorbike tour and make the break out of the city limits and the lowlands and plains of the Red River Delta. We pass through clusters of limestone as we head out north-east before leaving the main road and climb up to the peak of Mau Son mountain.
An old French hill station, Mau Son was ravaged during war with the Chinese and the buildings have recently been rebuilt in traditional style. A winding road leads us to the summit and at over 1,500 metres altitude we enjoy fantastic views out over China. Overnight in hotel in Mau Son.
Day 2: MAU SON – QUANG UYEN (165km)
We start our trip to Quang Uyen via Lang Son city. You will continue the motorbike tour on the famous historical Highway 4. You will be passing Dong Khe town which is the “Battle of Route Coloniale 4.”
The Battle of Dong Khe was a major battle of the First Indochina War. The fight began on 15 September 1950 and ended on 18 September with a French defeat. It took place in Dong Khe, in the province of Tonkin, Vietnam, from September 15 to September 18, 1950, ending with a Viet Minh victory.
You will be arriving at Quang Uyen at about 3 pm. We stay the night in a hotel or homestay
Day 3: QUANG UYEN – BAN GIOC WATERFALL – CAO BANG (150km)
Leaving Quang Uyen behind, we ride to Ban Gioc. Ban Gioc is one of Vietnam’s best-known waterfalls. It’s a very scenic spot, marking the border with China but it sees very few visitors. The name Ban Gioc is derived from the Montagnard languages spoken in the area and is sometimes spelled Ban Doc.
The waterfall is the largest, although not the highest, in the country. The vertical drop is 53 meters but it has an impressive 300 meters span which one end of the falls is in China and the other is in Vietnam. The falls have three levels creating a sort of giant staircase and there’s enough water anytime, most years, to make the trip worthwhile. Just enjoy the time by short walking and picnic around this land to savor the natural charms. You can swim in the natural pool nearby the waterfall, take the photos or just simply admire the view of surrounding areas.
Then, getting out of Ban Gioc, we will motorcycle down to Ma Phuc Pass of Cao Bang Province. The pass is not famous with the elevation or the danger like some others in Vietnam, but with the natural beauty that one could capture from the top of the pass. Motorcycle trip North Vietnam comes to Cao Bang town and finish another spotlight day tour. A long motorbike riding day is worth relaxing and treasuring the moments in this town by exploring the humble beauty of people and daily life here.
Day 4: CAO BANG – BAO LAC (140km)
Say good bye Cao Bang, our Vietnam motorbike riding team moves
to the North. When we already ride out of Cao Bang, definitely, the mountain views today would be more exclusive because we are tumbling up the higher regions, with the significant chances of the scenery.
We stop for lunch whenever we see any sights of street restaurants. After that, Bao Lac will be the next stop for our riding motorcycle tour North Vietnam crew.
This night, Northeast Loop Bike Tour will stay in a guesthouse or hotel in Bao Lac before motorbiking to Dong Van, Ha Giang
Day 5: BAO LAC – MEO VAC – DONG VAN – LUNG CU (140km)
Today’s journey could be challenged by some pieces of the road under construction and lengthened unexpectedly, that makes more fun for our riding team but we are compensated by charming valleys capped by clouds and smokes from hill-tribe houses. The Northeast Vietnam motorcycle tour today will be more marvelous when we come cross Meo Vac. Meo Vac has a harsh climate in the winter which is from November to April with dry and freezing cold weather. It is inhabited by different ethnic minorities including the H’mong, the King, Tay, Dzao…Most ethnic groups have maintained their culture untouched from the outside world.
After getting the permit for motorbike tour in border areas at Ha Giang’s Immigration Police, we ride on small challenging mountain roads (but incredibly beautiful) on the land of colorful mountain hill-tribes. Motorcycle up the Ma Pi Leng Pass. Here is yet another amazing place, with cloudy mountain ranges and the poetic Nho Que river winding off in the distance.
It is really difficult to find the exact words to describe Ma Pi Leng Pass, located between Dong Van and Meo Vac, near the northernmost tip of Vietnam, as a painting of astonishing beauty and magnificence that captures the eyes of all viewers and nature lovers.
We will see the North point of Vietnam by riding 40km to get to Lung Cu Flag pole.
Ride back on a zig-zag track until reaching Vuong Family’s Residence, 14 kms before Dong Van.
Vuong Family was considered the King of the Hmong People in Dong Van, Ha Giang. Their residence was built in the scenic valley of Sa Phin with Chinese architecture. The whole house was built out of wood and rock only. The rocks for the buildings were imported from China. Vuong Family Residence is a masterpiece of man work in the valley of heavenly beauty of Sa Phin.
This is a remote area and we can meet the hard-working local people here. It is inspiring to see how they survive as they manage live in the rocks. When we reach Dong Van Town we will have some extra time to wonder the ancient streets lined with H’mong homes of clay bricks and tiles roofs built centuries ago. Stay the night here
Day 6: ĐONG VAN – YEN MINH – QUAN BA – HA GIANG (150km)
The path from Dong Van to Ha Giang would enlighten the whole North Vietnam motorcycle tours. Riding mainly on the winding trails, circling around the towering mountains, your adrenaline could be so high but you also feel excited for it. Our Vietnam motorbike riding team will have the chance to see by their eyes the Rock plateau, the masterpiece of nature, where you can take the thrilling photos.
Just take some stops after asking the motorbike tour guide so we can drop in some hidden villages in the forests, where you can satisfactorily revel in the local culture of Vietnam. The 6th day officially ceases when we get to a hotel in Ha Giang city.
Day 7: HA GIANG – HOANG SU PHI – XIN MAN (150km)
After breakfast, we take a motor ride on the track to Xin Man and Hoang Su Phi on many small; back roads with scenic mountain views.
Xin Man is right on the border between Vietnam and China. It is, as of this writing, well hidden and completely surrounded by wild mountains and forests.
There’s a single road from Xin Man to Hoang Su Phi.
Hoang Su Phi is among the most untouched area of Ha Giang Province of Vietnam. The area was separated from the mainstream society until very recently. Passing Hoang Su Phi, we will be charmed by the pristine beauty of the wild mountains and the authentic culture of the local ethnic groups which include: the Nung, the Flower H’mong, the Tay and the Ha Nhi People…
After lunch, join the main road heading down to Xin Man district, where we stop for the night.
Day 8: XIN MAN – BAC HA – SA PA (160km)
On the journey today, Northern Loop Bike Team offers you many stops to feel the charming of nature. Just pasing Bac Ha market, which is quite adjunct to the Chinese border, where you can see the vivid life of both domestic and Chinese ethnic minorities.
Just about 55km from Xin Man to Bac Ha, but it could be the best part of this grand Northern Loop Bike team to enjoy the peaceful life here. If you get on the Sunday, you can see the typical high market (Bac Ha market). We keep riding to Sa Pa for about 100km. On this route via Lao Cai city, we have chance to see the border between China and Vietnam. We stay the night in Sa Pa in hotel or homestay
Day 9: SA PA discovery
Depending on the group’s mood, we can either take it easy in Sa Pa town, or make excursions back to the top of the highest pass in Vietnam, or down deep into the amazing Sapa valley to do home-stay in peaceful village. Sa Pa is lovely little town located at the height of 1600 meters above the sea, surrounded by amazing valley with the villages of minorities, we can either take it easy in Sa Pa town, or take another SaPa motorbike tour along Muong Hoa valley-one of the most beautiful valley in northern Vietnam, or down deep into the valley to see more interesting local people. All options are dominated by the crest of the enormous Fansipan mountain range.
The entire region is populated by Hmong, Giay, Tay and Dao people. Loop Bike Tours’ suggestion is to take a short walk to Ham Rong – a highest peak of the town where you can get full view of Sa Pa or take a short Sapa motorcycle tour along the Muong Hoa valley where you can see the amazing view of rice terrace fields and visiting more H’mong and Zay people. Overnight in hotel or homestay.
Day 10: SA PA – MU CANG CHAI (150km)
The team to Mu Cang Chai is another highlight of motorcycle tour Northwest Vietnam. The motorbike touring of the first half will cross huge green tea plantation and then the other half of the route must be one of the incredible motorbike trips in Vietnam when we gear up and up on the O Qui Ho pass – one of the longest and most amazing pass in North Vietnam. We will gear all the way down to level of more than 1600 m above the sea level to get to Mu Cang Chai via Sapa valley to some rustic villages of the Black H’mong, Red ZDao and DZay people, Moreover, motorbike tour along the Muong Hoa valley promises to give you best photos of stunning scenery in Northern Vietnam. Overnight in homestay or hotel in Mu Cang Chai.
Day 11: MU CANG CHAI – PHU YEN (180km)
We take “Pho” – a “must-try” noodle soup in Vietnam for breakfast. Departing at 8:00 AM. The motorbike tour today could be the most enjoyable of the North Vietnam motorbike trip. We bike on some of the very long and most amazing mountain passes in Northern of Vietnam that can give you awesome pictures of mountain and rice terrace fields. We mostly ride on smooth roads but the both sides scenery with rustic villages will make motorcyclists stop every 5 minutes. Riding motorbike in Vietnam for many years, for me this part offers the best motorbike tours North Vietnam. We arrive in Phu Yen at about 4 pm. End one of the most highlight Northern Vietnam motorbike tour today.
Day 12: PHU YEN – MUONG LA – SON LA (170km)
Continuing our motorbike tour on the almost empty Road 37 we enter
mountains heavily populated with Black Thai people, who work on large terraced rice fields. The winding road passes through many Thai villages and fields and provides a great opportunity to watch country life passing by.
We continue through rolling hills before rising up to the sugar cane growing areas on the cooler Son La plateau. Late lunch in Son La City, the capital of Son La Province, before we visit The Old French Prison & Museum. It was once the site of a French penal colony where anticolonial revolutionaries were incarcerated. It was destroyed by the infamous “off-loading” of unused ammunition by US warplanes that were returning to their bases after bombing raids, but it has been partially restored. Rebuilt turrets and watch towers stand guard over the remains of cells, inner walls and a famous lone surviving peach tree. The tree, which blooms with traditional “Tet flowers”, was planted in the compound by To Hieu, a former inmate from the 1940s. To Hieu has subsequently been immortalised with various landmarks now named after him. Overnight in Son La City.
Day 13: SON LA – MOC CHAU (150km)
Motorbike tour northern Vienam with a good road looking high over high hills and mountains, motorbike ride into a forested region populated by H’mong people before descending into a mountainous tea-growing region. Soon after we follow a long valley floor covered in a sea of rice surrounded by Black White Thai villages all the way to Son La with its bargain-filled market. Moc Chau is a small town in the Northern part of the stunning Pha Din pass. It is famous for plantation such as tea, flowers,…Overnight in Moc Chau
Day 14: MOC CHAU – PU LUONG (160km)
Today we will have easy and relaxing Vietnam motorbike tour in northwest mountainous area It offers many stopover for pictures of amazing mountain view. We can start the day with a easy walk around the village or be lazy with a waking up café. After saying goodbye to the Thai people we ride to the direction of Mai Chau. We ride around Mai Chau village and take a look around the amazing valley.
After lunch, we ride to Road 15 leading to the Ma River. We ride on a beautiful winding road until Pu Luong where we stay in a homestay.
Day 15: PU LUONG – TAN KY (240km)
The 15th day of our tour will be a long riding day from Pu Luong to Tan Ky and most of the times. We keep riding along the Ma River, until we reach the Ho Chi Minh legendary Trail and have lunch. Motorbike tour is officially triggered when we hit the starting point of this road and ride non-stop to Tan Ky town for having a night in the hotel.
Day 16: TAN KY – PHONG NHA (280km)
Tan Ky is known as the starting point of the Ho Chi Minh trail during the war time. From here the Northern communist with food and weapons travel down to the South Vietnam to join the war. After breakfast, we travel down to the South Vietnam with our motorbikes on the historical trail. The ride is almost on the repaired part of the trail but still offers a great view of mountain and the daily life of the local. The motorbike ride on Ho Chi Minh trail in the afternoon must be the highlight of the trip.
Day 17: PHONG NHA discovery
07:30 Having breakfast and check-out hotel
08:00 Take boat along Son river to the gate of Phong Nha cave. The wildly and weirdly beautiful of that cave will make be good impression to the travellers.
10:30 Continue by boat on Chay River to visit Dark Cave, then motorbike pickup to Paradise cave, take some pictures with natural forest, limestone mountain on the way.
11:30 Walking about 10 minus to Paradise Cave. Enjoy the voice of many kind of birds over there. Begin explore “Paradise Cave” and you will be surprised increasingly by the structure of these stalactites and the stalagmites inside.
13:00 Come back to Phong Nha National Park. Enjoy the local food before coming back Hue city.
Day 18: PHONG NHA – KHE SANH (220km)
It’s another highlight of this Ho Chi Minh trail motorcycle tour! After departing from Phong Nha town, we will make a turn to join the western Ho Chi Minh trail; known as the hidden trail that the US army did never know and bomb, the western Ho Chi Minh trail offers us the wonderful motorbike ride today: with the length of more than 200 km, this western Ho Chi Minh trail motorbiking is almost under the Phong Nha Ke Bang national park where the traffic is completely empty. In the late afternoon when we get out of national park we will pay a interesting visit to Khe Sanh – the former important US Marine Base including US Air base, tunnels and new Khe Sanh museum. We will head down to the Khe Sanh town and finish the great day for motorcycle touring Vietnam at about 5:00 pm. Overnight there
Day 19: KHE SANH – HUE (170km)
We will leave the Ho Chi Minh trail today to ride along the historical road No 9 along the Dakrong river.
The motorbike ride is straight to the eastern side of Vietnam along the 17th parallel where we can visit the Hien Luong bridge – a symbol for the border between the north Vietnam and south Vietnam, Vinh Moc tunnels and where you can have short motorbike ride on coastal roads which offers different view from the ride on Ho Chi Minh trail days before.
We arrive Hue at 4:30 pm. Hotel stay.
Day 20: HUE – HOI AN (150km)
The end destination for this day is the ancient town of Hoi An, another World Heritage site, most famous for its contribution to trade with South-East Asia, back in the 16th and 17th centuries. Riding National Highway 1 until we meet one of the greatest attractions though, is the Hai Van Pass, the mountain pass, whose scenic beauty will amaze you and its twisting roads will challenge our riding skills! No wonder it has been featured by Top Gear, in 2008, as one of the best cross roads in the world. The pass was controlled by the U.S army during the American war and what remains of the base, are still visible and open to explore. After a short coffee break we descend down the mountain and following the coastal road, which will bring us to Hoi An, where we stay overnight.
Day 21: HOI AN – CU LAO CHAM island
We set off day tour today from the hotel in Hoi An. The Cu Lao Cham Islands is one of UNESCO’s biosphere reserves because of its valuable marine habitats. Ride a speedboat from Cua Dai Wharf. View the small islands rising from the sea, surrounded by stunning rock formations. Stroll through the elegant Hai Tang Pagoda. This small temple was built in the 17th century to worship Buddha and the Sea Deity. Browse through Tan Hiep local market and bring home charming forest and sea themed souvenirs. Continue to Bai Ong beach, where you can swim and snorkel in the nearby lagoon. Enjoy the peaceful scenery of the harbor, Bai Lang, and local fishing villages. Savor a seafood lunch, consisting of succulent fish and shellfish. Take a dip into crystal clear beaches and white sands. Try out thrilling water sports like paragliding, kayaking, and boat racing. Dive and discover vivid sea creatures such as clownfish, sea anemones, and lobsters. Immerse yourself in rich marine life and culture today!
We are back to hotel’s Hoi An in the afternoon.
Tour ends. You can spend more in Hoi An or check out your hotel and fly back to your home at Da Nang international airport.